BTS can indeed influence everything, even South Korea's laws, and acts.
K-pop idols, despite their schedules, have to say goodbye to their fans and temporarily serve the military in South Korea. The conscription has existed since 1957, and it requires all male citizens between 18 to 28 to do compulsory military service.
Athletes and sports personalities – for instance, those who compete in the Olympics – are part of the military exemption. However, in the past months, talks about exempting BTS scored the spotlight as the group notably helped the nation economically and culturally.
Although the act is yet to be finalized, an ex-soldier shared his thoughts and perspectives over the idea.
Why Military Exemption Should Be Expanded, According To Former Soldier
On Pann Nate, a user claiming to be a former soldier listed six reasons the national assembly should expand the exemption act.
The user first described what the military exemption was when it was established decades ago. According to the discharged soldier, South Korea worked hard in enhancing the national status and country's dignity. He also noted that the initial act had different social standards then.
"For example, the current law allows people who win first or second place at 'The Seoul International Dance Competition,' including other many 'international' competitions. There are people who get exempted from the obligative military duty yet the general public really doesn't know who they are or what they did," he explained, as translated by AllKpop.
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Secondly, he said that people still argue about the set-up's fairness, saying that the standard should be reestablished to ensure people know what an exempted person did for the country. He then supported the amendment of the current law since it is not absolute in the first place.
The discharged soldier took his time to explain how much BTS did to expand Korean culture and popular culture before introducing them to wider audiences.
In the end, he explained how the low birthrate should be addressed with another policy instead of preventing the military exemption policy from occurring.
The Latest On BTS' Military Exemption Act
In June, National Assembly member Yoon Sang Hyun presented a list of amendments to the Military Service Act, which suggested the exemption of BTS.
"There was a football player who was offered an exemption by playing for just four minutes at the 2014 London Olympics. Some estimate that the economic effect of BTS amounts to 5.6 trillion won (US$47 billion) and even larger than a single Olympic Games event," he said.
Most recently, the subcommittee of the National Assembly reportedly failed to make any progress on the law due to the intense debate over the pros and cons.
Yonhap News Agency reported that the lawmakers were divided on Thursday while discussing the bill.
Korea's defense ministry spokesperson, Boo Seung Chan, said that the military is considering a situational variable to be applied to the BTS Military law.
For now, fans can expect BTS members to enter the military if the act would not be passed.
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